Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom ★★★★

My problematic fave. Lots of fun set pieces that don't exactly cohere, but I saw this at the right age and fell in love. Temple of Doom was my first meaningful exposure to gross-out humor and body horror—how could I not form a lifelong bond?

But yeah, it is a mess! Racist, sexist, actors in brownface. (These are all true of the first movie also, but I don't disagree that it's dialed up here.)

I was honestly ready to admit that the faults outweighed my nostalgia—and then the mine cart chase happened, and I was all in again. It's just so fucking fun! I've loved the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland since it opened, but they maybe should have just given us the mine cart roller coaster.

Which is all to say, I don't believe I can ever really rate this movie objectively. I do think it has a lot going for it, and I see the many flaws, too. I think you meet films where they're at, and that doesn't mean you have to excuse or ignore the regrettable shit in them—just that you let that be a part of the whole picture.

Did you know that Tress MacNeille dubbed the voice of one of the child slaves. That's weird, right?

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